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Decreasing barrier while maintaining shelf-life for highly sensitive products - A more recyclable and sustainable packaging for infant formula

Weishaupt, Eva LU (2020) MTTM01 20201
Packaging Logistics
Abstract
With increasing concerns about environmental impacts of the food that is consumed, so is also the concern about packaging materials. This also comprises the packaging that is currently used to pack infant formula (IF), very often containing aluminum as the barrier material. IF is a very sensitive product that demands for the highest barriers to protect it from lipid oxidation. This implies that the barrier material has to be able to prevent O2 and moisture, as well as light from entering the package. In this study it was investigated whether one or more of five tested materials is/are able to replace the aluminum package and guarantee the same shelf-life of the product. A combination of accelerated shelf-life testing and the TBARS assay... (More)
With increasing concerns about environmental impacts of the food that is consumed, so is also the concern about packaging materials. This also comprises the packaging that is currently used to pack infant formula (IF), very often containing aluminum as the barrier material. IF is a very sensitive product that demands for the highest barriers to protect it from lipid oxidation. This implies that the barrier material has to be able to prevent O2 and moisture, as well as light from entering the package. In this study it was investigated whether one or more of five tested materials is/are able to replace the aluminum package and guarantee the same shelf-life of the product. A combination of accelerated shelf-life testing and the TBARS assay were used to determine the amount of malondialdehyde (MDA) produced during lipid oxidation in the samples stored in the different packaging materials. The results showed that there was no significant increase in oxidation in any of the materials (based on linear regression). No conclusions could be drawn regarding which of the materials could be an alternative to the aluminum-based one. However, a decreasing O2 trend was visible in the package filled with ambient O2. This can be taken as an indication that the powder did consume oxygen during the time of the study. (Less)
Popular Abstract
While babies are in need of specific nutrients, not every woman is able to breastfeed and hence provide the energy for the baby herself. Thanks to research there are now numerous infant formulas on the market that can fill that gap. Whether it is ready-made or powdered infant formula that is to be prepared at home. Infants are one of the most vulnerable target groups and with the milk replacement product being their sole food for the first few months the regulations regarding production and packaging are very high. Currently, powdered infant formula is packed in either metal, plastic or composite containers. While aluminum can provide the highest barrier properties, its mining is very energy-intensive and recycling of composite materials... (More)
While babies are in need of specific nutrients, not every woman is able to breastfeed and hence provide the energy for the baby herself. Thanks to research there are now numerous infant formulas on the market that can fill that gap. Whether it is ready-made or powdered infant formula that is to be prepared at home. Infants are one of the most vulnerable target groups and with the milk replacement product being their sole food for the first few months the regulations regarding production and packaging are very high. Currently, powdered infant formula is packed in either metal, plastic or composite containers. While aluminum can provide the highest barrier properties, its mining is very energy-intensive and recycling of composite materials containing aluminum is comparatively inefficient to this day. Hence, research for alternative packaging materials that are not containing aluminum is an area of interest. It was determined that the main factor deteriorating the milk powder is lipid oxidation, with light, moisture and oxygen having the most influence on it. Lipid oxidation causes unsaturated fatty acids to react with an initiator and form radicals. The reaction proceeds rapidly until the production of non-radicals exceeds that of radicals immensely. This can lead to the formation of rancid off-flavors and determines the end of shelf-life. In this study five different packaging materials (A1, A2, A3, B and C) with different compositions were evaluated based on their ability to keep the product from oxidizing as well as providing a good barrier against oxygen and moisture and hence be able to replace the aluminum material. To get an insight into the behavior of lipid oxidation a shelf-life study was performed with samples stored at 23°C and 38°C over a period of nine weeks in the different materials. In three-weeks frequency the samples were tested in the laboratory for lipid oxidation. The method used was the so-called TBARS assay, in which two molecules of TBA (thiobarbituric acid) react with one molecule of MDA (malondialdehyde). MDA is the compound that gets formed during lipid oxidation in the powder. By means of spectrophotometry (measuring color pigments) the concentration of this oxidation product was determined, and samples compared with each other.

The results showed that there was no significant increase in oxidation in any of the tested materials. Neither were any useful reaction rates obtained that could have been used to compare the materials further. Based on the results it was not possible to predict the shelf-life of the product in any of the materials nor to determine if any of them is able to replace the current aluminum-based material. A small side-study showed however that the powder did consume oxygen. These results combined suggest that the product was too stable, and a prolonged study might be necessary. This is to give the product more time to oxidize and get more data points making results more reliable. Next to this, the method (TBARS assay) did appear to be not sensitive enough to measure very precise MDA concentrations, since a lot of variation within the data was observable. Therefore, a comparison with other methods in future research is advised. Finally, the experimental set-up should be adjusted in a way that each individual package can be followed in time, which was not possible in this study due to destructive measuring methods. (Less)
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author
Weishaupt, Eva LU
supervisor
organization
course
MTTM01 20201
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
infant formula, packaging material, lipid oxidation, TBARS assay, shelf-life
language
English
id
9018191
date added to LUP
2020-06-15 13:58:29
date last changed
2020-06-15 13:58:29
@misc{9018191,
  abstract     = {With increasing concerns about environmental impacts of the food that is consumed, so is also the concern about packaging materials. This also comprises the packaging that is currently used to pack infant formula (IF), very often containing aluminum as the barrier material. IF is a very sensitive product that demands for the highest barriers to protect it from lipid oxidation. This implies that the barrier material has to be able to prevent O2 and moisture, as well as light from entering the package. In this study it was investigated whether one or more of five tested materials is/are able to replace the aluminum package and guarantee the same shelf-life of the product. A combination of accelerated shelf-life testing and the TBARS assay were used to determine the amount of malondialdehyde (MDA) produced during lipid oxidation in the samples stored in the different packaging materials. The results showed that there was no significant increase in oxidation in any of the materials (based on linear regression). No conclusions could be drawn regarding which of the materials could be an alternative to the aluminum-based one. However, a decreasing O2 trend was visible in the package filled with ambient O2. This can be taken as an indication that the powder did consume oxygen during the time of the study.},
  author       = {Weishaupt, Eva},
  keyword      = {infant formula,packaging material,lipid oxidation,TBARS assay,shelf-life},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Decreasing barrier while maintaining shelf-life for highly sensitive products - A more recyclable and sustainable packaging for infant formula},
  year         = {2020},
}